“The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.”
Whether you are working from home or you are back in the office, distractions happen. Some people find it difficult to regain their focus after getting interrupted, while others can refocus quickly. If you are going to do your best work, you must learn how to keep diversions at bay and stay focused.
Michael S. Hyatt, an author, podcaster, blogger and speaker, notes that in a distraction economy, focus is a rare commodity. He encourages leaders to learn how to alleviate distractions in the workplace and help their team members stay focused on their daily work.
In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share nine ideas from Hyatt on how to increase your concentration levels and zero in on the task at hand.
1. Schedule time to focus. What gets scheduled gets done, Hyatt notes. If you do your best work in the morning, block off time in your calendar to complete your most important projects.
2. Spend time alone. Sometimes it’s helpful to shut your office door or put on a pair of noise-cancelling headphones to signal to those around you that you do not want to be interrupted. You could also designate a day in the week as a meeting-free day.
3. Get offline. The constant ping from emails, texts and Slack messages can make it near impossible to truly focus. Hyatt recommends turning off notifications or using a tool to block content.
4. Lower the room temperature. To increase your focus, lower the temperature in your office. Hyatt points out a study from Scientific American that found that cooler rooms improve concentration.
5. Get comfortable. Do you like working at a stand-up desk? Like to have a cozy blanket draped over your legs? Find what works for you and you will find it easier to stay focused.
6. Turn on some music. According to Stanford University researchers, the right music can help you stay on track. After studying the effect of music on the brain, they found that music engages areas of the brain involved in paying attention, making predictions and updating memory.
7. Watch how food affects your focus. Hyatt suggests paying attention to what you eat and drink and how it makes you feel when you are working. Does a second cup of coffee help you focus or does it make you jittery? Maybe you need to keep snacks handy or track your water intake to make sure you stay hydrated. Hyatt recommends adding foods thought to increase brain function such as salmon, coffee, blueberries and chocolate.
8. Establish mini goals. According to Hyatt, a mini goal is a small project you can accomplish in a set period of time. For example, he likes to set a mini goal of writing a 500-word blog post in 45 minutes several times a week. He knows his average writing time is 75 minutes per post, so setting a timer helps him stay on track.
9. Take breaks frequently. Remember not to power through your day without working in some breaks. It’s important to pause often, whether you make another cup of coffee, take a quick walk or pause for a few minutes of meditation.
To get the most out of every workday, you must commit to being intentional with how you spend your time. Rather than allowing yourself to get sidetracked by every little disruption, make a point to keep yourself on track. Even by working in a few of the ideas above, you can give yourself a valuable concentration boost.
Compiled by Audrey Sellers
Source: Michael S. Hyatt is an American author, podcaster, blogger, speaker and the CEO and founder of Michael Hyatt & Company. He has written several books about leadership, productivity and goal setting.